On Listening is a collection of essays on poetry, written for various occasions over the last few years. Ranging from scholarly papers to literary non-fiction, critical writing to lectures, each allows a different way in to the book's central preoccupation. On Listening is concerned, centrally, with the nature of poetic practice. Using both philosophy of language and an editor's literary ear, theory and the author's own experience as a poet, this book examines good writing practice from the inside out; and asks how it can be developed: by teaching and community facilitation, by reading and travelling and, where those two interests come together, in translation.After an introductory essay which sets the scene by looking at contemporary British poet-critics, the book is divided into four sections - 'Translating', 'Travelling', 'Teaching' and 'Reading' - though its thesis suggests these categories are linked. An Epilogue reflects on 'The Ephemeral'. 'Translating' looks at the nature of that practice and its context, with particular reference to the writer's work with Central European literature. Included is a set of 'reviews' of exemplary translations. 'Travelling' explores issues of cultural translation: whether those originate in the geographical or between discursive cultures. 'Teaching' draws on more than a dozen years' experience in universities, schools and, particularly, in pioneering writing in health and social care, to explore the differences between community and education practice. It looks closely at questions of evaluation, ethics and purpose. 'Reading' surveys some of the writer's personal poetic enthusiasms, with particular stress on writing from beyond Britain and by women.On Listening is an indispensable vade mecum for teachers and students of creative writing; it is also, however, a topical read for anyone concerned with the state of poetry in Britain today.